ABOUT US

We help our clients to navigate successfully in an era of change through strategic, bold solutions.

Our team

Since 2004, Tony Tilly and Sonia Crook have worked together to lead change. Our different backgrounds have contributed to ambitious plans, innovative strategies and positive results. At Compass North we have expanded our team through partnerships.

Tony Tilly - Ph.D.

Tony’s career has been founded in teaching and focused on leadership and change. He loves a combination of public service and private enterprise, describing Canada's colleges as public enterprises and dedicating himself to developing the two components in that description.

Tony has first hand experience in all academic roles from professor to vice-president. From 2004 to 2018 he was President of Fleming College focused on growth, a stronger college, campus and facility improvements, the education of individual students and partnership. Tony loves working with the 'big picture' and solving problems.

Linkedin

Sonia Crook - M.Ed.

Sonia brought career success in private enterprise to a lead role at Fleming where she was Vice president of Human Resources, Strategic Planning and Student Services. Her colleagues saw her as a transformational leader with the capability to connect strategy and organizational development initiatives to achieve sustainable change. She is the person who wanted to go farther and faster while ensuring there was deep connection and involvement in any initiative. She has facilitation, design thinking, leadership and team development capabilities.

At Fleming, Sonia generated a model approach to human resources, three successful strategic plans, an inspiring core promise to students and a method to enhance creative leadership using an applied learning model. Along with Tony, she is focused on insights, strategies, excellence in recruitment, creative leadership and unique projects.

Linkedin

Associate

MANDRAKE

Compass North is delighted to partner with Mandrake Executive Recruitment. With offices in Toronto and Montreal, Mandrake has a national profile and an international presence. They believe that only the best can make a real difference and specialize in finding exceptional people. Founded in 1970, Mandrake has completed more than 10,000 searches and has an enviable record of building strong and lasting relationships with clients. Two partners, Daphne Bykerk and Louise Daigneault, are excited to work with Tony and Sonia to bring a new customized approach to hiring in the college sector.

Mandrake is approaching its fiftieth anniversary as a Canadian company. The company has completed more than 10,000 executive searches -- mainly in the private sector -- since its founding in 1970. Client loyalty is outstanding: over those years, more than 50 clients have each engaged Mandrake to carry out at least 50 executive searches. In 2019, Mandrake launched a partnership with Compass North to design a customized approach for the college sector, helping achieve its goals. Mandrake is dedicated to finding and developing outstanding college talent with Compass North.

Associate

Catia Skinner

Catia is an associate of the consulting firm and is a marketing professional with international experience. She uses all aspects of marketing to successfully focus on achieving continuous, improved business performance. Her clients often comment on her ability to develop and implement successful multi-channel marketing and business development strategies. She consistently demonstrates her creativity in implementing strategic communication plans that achieve marketing goals. Catia is well versed in design thinking and together with Sonia can create a stimulating and focussed session to enhance creative solutions.

Linkedin

Mega Experience, a leader in brand development, strategic marketing, and design, was founded in Joinville, Brazil in 2008 and quickly developed a glowing reputation. In 2015 Mega Experience expanded to Canada with it’s head office based in Peterborough, Ontario. Mega’s innovative and diverse team consists of strategists, writers, photographers, graphic designers and web developers who collaborate to deliver each client creative yet calculated branding strategy that perfectly aligns with their key objectives. Through research, interviews, workshops and business analysis, Mega Experience gains a rich understanding of each client’s industry, strengths, and opportunities to produce effective and unique solutions to allow their businesses to evolve and prosper.

Mega's clients span across varying industries including travel, retail, legal services, manufacturing and not-for-profit. Mega’s deliverables led to being the proud recipient of the Marketing & Promotion Award from the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce in 2016, just one year after the company’s Canadian launch.

Values

  • Explore with curiosity and courage
  • Focus on clients while adding value
  • Work with integrity and ingenuity

Explore with curiosity and courage so that client issues are fully understood, ideas debated and meaningful solutions presented.

Focus on clients while adding value allowing us to build relationships and use our skills and experience to bring new ideas to our joint work.

Work with integrity and ingenuity, choosing the right and best solution, not the expedient one

Our Approach

Our experience with leading large-scale organizational change has made us less interested in ‘describing change’ and much more interested in ‘defining and implementing change strategies’. We help you chart a course that will generate flexible options, create relevant solutions and accelerate growth.

Change requires strong working relationships, agility, creativity and flexibility so that new ideas and learning can generate better solutions. Our innovative approach stimulates thinking, facilitates an exchange of ideas and responds to your organization’s challenges and priorities. Core to our purpose is assisting your organization to navigate change through strategic, bold solutions. Our values connect with who your organization is now and who it wants to be in the future.

Tony Tilly - Ph.D.

Tony’s career has been founded in teaching and focused on leadership and change. He loves a combination of public service and private enterprise, describing Canada's colleges as public enterprises and dedicating himself to developing the two components in that description.

Tony has first hand experience in all academic roles from professor to vice-president. From 2004 to 2018 he was President of Fleming College focused on growth, a stronger college, campus and facility improvements, the education of individual students and partnership. Tony loves working with the 'big picture' and solving problems.

Linkedin

Sonia Crook - M.Ed.

Sonia brought career success in private enterprise to a lead role at Fleming where she was Vice president of Human Resources, Strategic Planning and Student Services. Her colleagues saw her as a transformational leader with the capability to connect strategy and organizational development initiatives to achieve sustainable change. She is the person who wanted to go farther and faster while ensuring there was deep connection and involvement in any initiative. She has facilitation, design thinking, leadership and team development capabilities.

At Fleming, Sonia generated a model approach to human resources, three successful strategic plans, an inspiring core promise to students and a method to enhance creative leadership using an applied learning model. Along with Tony, she is focused on insights, strategies, excellence in recruitment, creative leadership and unique projects.

Linkedin

Associate

MANDRAKE

Compass North is delighted to partner with Mandrake Executive Recruitment. With offices in Toronto and Montreal, Mandrake has a national profile and an international presence. They believe that only the best can make a real difference and specialize in finding exceptional people. Founded in 1970, Mandrake has completed more than 10,000 searches and has an enviable record of building strong and lasting relationships with clients. Two partners, Daphne Bykerk and Louise Daigneault, are excited to work with Tony and Sonia to bring a new customized approach to hiring in the college sector.

Mandrake is approaching its fiftieth anniversary as a Canadian company. The company has completed more than 10,000 executive searches -- mainly in the private sector -- since its founding in 1970. Client loyalty is outstanding: over those years, more than 50 clients have each engaged Mandrake to carry out at least 50 executive searches. In 2019, Mandrake launched a partnership with Compass North to design a customized approach for the college sector, helping achieve its goals. Mandrake is dedicated to finding and developing outstanding college talent with Compass North.

Associate

Catia Skinner

Catia is an associate of the consulting firm and is a marketing professional with international experience. She uses all aspects of marketing to successfully focus on achieving continuous, improved business performance. Her clients often comment on her ability to develop and implement successful multi-channel marketing and business development strategies. She consistently demonstrates her creativity in implementing strategic communication plans that achieve marketing goals. Catia is well versed in design thinking and together with Sonia can create a stimulating and focussed session to enhance creative solutions.

Linkedin

Mega Experience, a leader in brand development, strategic marketing, and design, was founded in Joinville, Brazil in 2008 and quickly developed a glowing reputation. In 2015 Mega Experience expanded to Canada with it’s head office based in Peterborough, Ontario. Mega’s innovative and diverse team consists of strategists, writers, photographers, graphic designers and web developers who collaborate to deliver each client creative yet calculated branding strategy that perfectly aligns with their key objectives. Through research, interviews, workshops and business analysis, Mega Experience gains a rich understanding of each client’s industry, strengths, and opportunities to produce effective and unique solutions to allow their businesses to evolve and prosper.

Mega's clients span across varying industries including travel, retail, legal services, manufacturing and not-for-profit. Mega’s deliverables led to being the proud recipient of the Marketing & Promotion Award from the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce in 2016, just one year after the company’s Canadian launch.

Explore with curiosity and courage so that client issues are fully understood, ideas debated and meaningful solutions presented.

Focus on clients while adding value allowing us to build relationships and use our skills and experience to bring new ideas to our joint work.

Work with integrity and ingenuity, choosing the right and best solution, not the expedient one

Change requires strong working relationships, agility, creativity and flexibility so that new ideas and learning can generate better solutions. Our innovative approach stimulates thinking, facilitates an exchange of ideas and responds to your organization’s challenges and priorities. Core to our purpose is assisting your organization to navigate change through strategic, bold solutions. Our values connect with who your organization is now and who it wants to be in the future.

SERVICES

Compass North can work with you and add value in five ways, ranging from brief consultations to large and transformative initiatives.

a sounding board

Sometimes senior leaders need a “sounding board” from outside their own team. Brief consultations require no contract or billing – just useful, objective and confidential feedback.

A Sounding Board

Sometimes we need a “sounding board” – someone who provides objective feedback and useful ideas. We are pleased to do this using our respective areas of expertise. Initial discussions involve neither a contract nor billing. But they do provide assurance of confidentiality. To pursue this, email us or go to Contact Us form here.

Priority Projects: Consultation and Facilitation

You know your priorities and what needs to be accomplished. Additional expertise helps shape the project to get better results.

Consulting/Facilitation on Priority Projects

Most organizations have important projects that get deferred or scaled down because of too many priorities, too little time, insufficient analysis, gaps in expertise, or lack of project management. We contract with clients to overcome these hurdles and to provide the facilitation to carry out work in a timely way. Beyond that, our role is to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that will enhance both process and results.

More on Consulting/Facilitation on Priority Projects

Priority Projects sit in between “dealing with the here and now” and “planning for the future”. They are:
- immediate, “must do” priorities
- both important and urgent as the organization transitions from current challenges to implementing needed solutions
- beyond the scope of day-to-day responsibilities of relevant leaders
- large enough that they need to draw on the time and expertise of people from different parts of your organization

What we do in these circumstances is first ensure that we have a full understanding of the rationale and potential benefits from the project, as well as the challenges. Typically we work with a small project team and in consultation with the President or another senior leader. Projects may require a small cross-functional working group which generates creative ideas, adopts project plans, agrees to specific responsibilities and provides a “reality check”.

In carrying out this work, we are mindful of the skeptical view of consultants, that all they do is feed back what clients have articulated. We do not believe this is adequate. Our role is to add value, ask difficult questions and raise the level of the work and the results.

Executive Search Partnership

Expertise in executive search + deep knowledge of the college sector = resources for hiring the best. A Mandrake and Compass North partnership.

Executive Search

Compass North is pleased to work in partnership with Mandrake Executive Search and, in particular, Co-CEO Louise Daigneault and Senior Partner Daphne Bykerk. Our joint focus is senior leadership in Ontario colleges. Together we have deep knowledge of the sector and exceptional capability in the art and science of executive search.

More on Executive Search

We all know the difference a great hire can make, and unfortunately many of us experience the consequences when a hire turns out to be far from great. There is both an art and science to getting beyond the “interview performance”. Understanding that only the best can make a real difference, Compass North has partnered with Mandrake Executive Recruiters to develop a unique approach to college sector executive recruiting.

To hire the best, requires experienced and dedicated search consultants and a well-designed framework. Mandrake has perfected their hiring process and built strong client loyalty. Over the past 50 years, they have completed over 10,000 searches in a broad array of sectors. They skillfully mitigate the risk surrounding the hiring process.

Coupled with this expertise, is the knowledge and experience of two senior college leaders who have just recently moved into consulting. We have put considerable effort into developing a well-designed framework on college leadership. It contains five components and highlights four critical capabilities research suggests underpin leadership success in the 21st century. Finding the best, and being able to select the best with confidence, is what we are pleased to offer.

Charting a Course: Strategic Planning

Classic strategic planning meets accelerated change and urgency. The process and results can be energizing and indispensible for charting the way forward.

Charting a Course: Strategic Plans and Planning Processes

While much is changing, Strategic Plans will remain critically important for establishing direction, articulating objectives and bringing organizations together. Yet in the next few years, unpredictable circumstances and changing environments will likely require modification of traditional planning cycles. Our emphasis is on using but adapting traditional processes and timelines. The goal is to accelerate both preparation and implementation, build in greater flexibility and nevertheless ensure the integrity and value of the plans you adopt.

More on Strategic Plans and Planning Processes

In the 2020’s, planning involves both the familiar and the unfamiliar.
First, there are the familiar elements of effective and traditional strategic planning. They include environmental scans, the identification of critical trends, competitive analysis and the crafting of components from a compelling vision to specific objectives that provide a workable roadmap for the future. Effective strategic plans are thoughtful and creative, incorporating bold ideas and a well-articulated action plan that has the flexibility to remain relevant.

Yet at a time when the future is truly unknown, traditional three-to-five-year strategic plans have become extremely difficult to design, implement and sustain without adjustments. To navigate an environment where no one can predict the future, organizations will want to consider shorter time horizons, quicker preparation and capacity to pivot to meet challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.

Compass North has extensive experience in designing and achieving traditional plans and the focus on change strategies and navigating toward a new sustainable destination.

Renewal and Redesign

When it is better to move beyond incremental improvement of what already exists, it is time for Renewal and Redesign. This can involve a new course…and a new destination.

Renewal and Redesign

We state a commitment to “Navigating change to new destinations”. Ultimately, the most profound organizational change involves both culture and fundamental redesign. It requires the courage and imagination to create a new destination for your organization plus all available resources to navigate there. This is challenging work requiring concerted effort and comprehensive plans. We would be most happy to discuss your thinking about both challenges and possibilities and to outline how we might be able to assist in such a bold journey.

More on Renewal and Redesign
Elsewhere on this website we commented that in a post-pandemic world, the task is not to find the road back to when our organizations were thriving. It is to find the road forward to new destinations and new opportunities to thrive. The road back involves re-establishing what was; the road forward requires organizations willing and able to renew and redesign.

We propose that this involves a higher pace and magnitude of change than most of us previously handled in traditional strategic planning cycles.

If you have concluded that the road ahead involves significant redesign, no doubt you are thinking about your organizational readiness, your culture, your resources and your capacity for large-scale change. You are thinking as well about moving organizational preoccupations from getting through today’s issues to a concerted focus on a “new destination” for your organization -- one that has vision yet is very much grounded in the realities you anticipate.

All of this is challenging and your task relates closely to what we do in a very different role: “Navigating change to new destinations.” Our strengths include experience with this navigation, experience increasing an organization’s creative and innovative capabilities, our learning from that experience, and our capacity to help those undertaking this journey to arrive at your particular destination. We assist in creating places where people want to be, want to stay and want to contribute to the change. We would be happy to discuss large-scale renewal and redesign initiatives with you. And if you use an RFP to solicit proposals for this challenging yet exciting work, we would appreciate the opportunity to document our qualifications.

A Sounding Board

Sometimes we need a “sounding board” – someone who provides objective feedback and useful ideas. We are pleased to do this using our respective areas of expertise. Initial discussions involve neither a contract nor billing. But they do provide assurance of confidentiality. To pursue this, email us or go to Contact Us form here.

Consulting/Facilitation on Priority Projects

Most organizations have important projects that get deferred or scaled down because of too many priorities, too little time, insufficient analysis, gaps in expertise, or lack of project management. We contract with clients to overcome these hurdles and to provide the facilitation to carry out work in a timely way. Beyond that, our role is to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that will enhance both process and results.

More on Consulting/Facilitation on Priority Projects

Priority Projects sit in between “dealing with the here and now” and “planning for the future”. They are:
- immediate, “must do” priorities
- both important and urgent as the organization transitions from current challenges to implementing needed solutions
- beyond the scope of day-to-day responsibilities of relevant leaders
- large enough that they need to draw on the time and expertise of people from different parts of your organization

What we do in these circumstances is first ensure that we have a full understanding of the rationale and potential benefits from the project, as well as the challenges. Typically we work with a small project team and in consultation with the President or another senior leader. Projects may require a small cross-functional working group which generates creative ideas, adopts project plans, agrees to specific responsibilities and provides a “reality check”.

In carrying out this work, we are mindful of the skeptical view of consultants, that all they do is feed back what clients have articulated. We do not believe this is adequate. Our role is to add value, ask difficult questions and raise the level of the work and the results.

Executive Search

Compass North is pleased to work in partnership with Mandrake Executive Search and, in particular, Co-CEO Louise Daigneault and Senior Partner Daphne Bykerk. Our joint focus is senior leadership in Ontario colleges. Together we have deep knowledge of the sector and exceptional capability in the art and science of executive search.

More on Executive Search

We all know the difference a great hire can make, and unfortunately many of us experience the consequences when a hire turns out to be far from great. There is both an art and science to getting beyond the “interview performance”. Understanding that only the best can make a real difference, Compass North has partnered with Mandrake Executive Recruiters to develop a unique approach to college sector executive recruiting.

To hire the best, requires experienced and dedicated search consultants and a well-designed framework. Mandrake has perfected their hiring process and built strong client loyalty. Over the past 50 years, they have completed over 10,000 searches in a broad array of sectors. They skillfully mitigate the risk surrounding the hiring process.

Coupled with this expertise, is the knowledge and experience of two senior college leaders who have just recently moved into consulting. We have put considerable effort into developing a well-designed framework on college leadership. It contains five components and highlights four critical capabilities research suggests underpin leadership success in the 21st century. Finding the best, and being able to select the best with confidence, is what we are pleased to offer.

Charting a Course: Strategic Plans and Planning Processes

While much is changing, Strategic Plans will remain critically important for establishing direction, articulating objectives and bringing organizations together. Yet in the next few years, unpredictable circumstances and changing environments will likely require modification of traditional planning cycles. Our emphasis is on using but adapting traditional processes and timelines. The goal is to accelerate both preparation and implementation, build in greater flexibility and nevertheless ensure the integrity and value of the plans you adopt.

More on Strategic Plans and Planning Processes

In the 2020’s, planning involves both the familiar and the unfamiliar.
First, there are the familiar elements of effective and traditional strategic planning. They include environmental scans, the identification of critical trends, competitive analysis and the crafting of components from a compelling vision to specific objectives that provide a workable roadmap for the future. Effective strategic plans are thoughtful and creative, incorporating bold ideas and a well-articulated action plan that has the flexibility to remain relevant.

Yet at a time when the future is truly unknown, traditional three-to-five-year strategic plans have become extremely difficult to design, implement and sustain without adjustments. To navigate an environment where no one can predict the future, organizations will want to consider shorter time horizons, quicker preparation and capacity to pivot to meet challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.

Compass North has extensive experience in designing and achieving traditional plans and the focus on change strategies and navigating toward a new sustainable destination.

Renewal and Redesign

We state a commitment to “Navigating change to new destinations”. Ultimately, the most profound organizational change involves both culture and fundamental redesign. It requires the courage and imagination to create a new destination for your organization plus all available resources to navigate there. This is challenging work requiring concerted effort and comprehensive plans. We would be most happy to discuss your thinking about both challenges and possibilities and to outline how we might be able to assist in such a bold journey.

More on Renewal and Redesign
Elsewhere on this website we commented that in a post-pandemic world, the task is not to find the road back to when our organizations were thriving. It is to find the road forward to new destinations and new opportunities to thrive. The road back involves re-establishing what was; the road forward requires organizations willing and able to renew and redesign.

We propose that this involves a higher pace and magnitude of change than most of us previously handled in traditional strategic planning cycles.

If you have concluded that the road ahead involves significant redesign, no doubt you are thinking about your organizational readiness, your culture, your resources and your capacity for large-scale change. You are thinking as well about moving organizational preoccupations from getting through today’s issues to a concerted focus on a “new destination” for your organization -- one that has vision yet is very much grounded in the realities you anticipate.

All of this is challenging and your task relates closely to what we do in a very different role: “Navigating change to new destinations.” Our strengths include experience with this navigation, experience increasing an organization’s creative and innovative capabilities, our learning from that experience, and our capacity to help those undertaking this journey to arrive at your particular destination. We assist in creating places where people want to be, want to stay and want to contribute to the change. We would be happy to discuss large-scale renewal and redesign initiatives with you. And if you use an RFP to solicit proposals for this challenging yet exciting work, we would appreciate the opportunity to document our qualifications.

OUR BLOG

Thoughts about strategy and change, challenges and opportunities!

Colleges Post-Pandemic: Survive to Thrive

Survival Transition to Redesign to Emergence

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